Even in the busiest times of the year, even for the busiest business, there are some quiet moments that can allow you to sit and reflect. During these quiet moments, you should take stock of the previous year and consider what you are planning for the coming year. Whether you consider the twelve months that have just gone by as the best your business has seen in a long time or as a rebuilding year, you should think of things to do, to either continue your growth or to kick it back into high gear.  Read more

Outsourcing jobs to a virtual assistant is a great way for busy business owners to get many small tasks accomplished at once.  A virtual assistant can do anything from reading and replying to customer service emails and placing orders for clients to setting up appointments and answering phones from a remote location.  However, if you are not careful, there can be some major pitfalls.  Here are some of the most important mistakes to avoid when outsourcing to a virtual assistant. Read more

It’s tempting, during recessionary times, to look on marketing as a cost center and try to find ways to reduce expenses. By all means rationalize your marketing expenses and cut the waste. But remember always that your business exists only because of the market and if that is ignored, your company has no reason to exist. Before going on to look at how to market during a recession, there are two important issues to be kept in mind.

This is when your customers get restless and look for cheaper options than buying from you. You need to keep your marketing effort going to make sure that does not happen. Read more

When the economy is in the shape it is in, everyone looks at finding ways to save money. It’s a proven fact that when the economy is good, expenditure expands to use resources – that’s when you buy a fancy laptop even if the old one is fine.

When the economy is bad expenditure contracts to fit available resources – you get your bashed up old mobile phone repaired instead of buying a new one. Now all this is pretty obvious but lets look at some time tested methods of saving money, not just for now but even after the economy picks up – maybe you could then buy a new laptop and a phone.

  • You need insurance, but how much do you need? It’s easy to get carried away when flush with cash and over insure yourself. Reexamine your insurance needs and bring down the premiums. Read more

Most people look at hard times as when the focus is not protecting your existing business and making sure that it does not shrink. That’s a big mistake. It means you are focusing only on the enemies at the gates. A business can never be inward looking. It is not a self supporting entity. A company exists only in relation to its market and unless it focuses on that market, it will soon be separated from it. Then it becomes like a fish out of water and soon dies.

The smart business owner knows that most people do what is outlined above. That provides him opportunities to go into the market and while the competition is so busy looking inwards, occupy some of their territory.

It sounds great in theory, but when times are hard, how do you create the resources to build your business when you are already suffering as much as everyone else? The answer is that you don’t. Money and other resources are not easy to come by. What you need to do is redeploy what you have with you. Read more

When you are a business that has a lot of service to do and you need to get your business moving it can be difficult, especially when you have to wear every hat that the business needs. For most small business owners this means that marketing goes down to the bottom of the pile as something that will eventually get done.

Today, Internet presence is what is needed for most businesses and you must do this with some sort of effort. Whether you are a social networking or you are using professional social media to market your business, you will find that the Internet will play a major part in your marketing. Read more